I take pride in cramming. Or at least I used to. I used to be the annoying classmate who studies the night (or 30 minutes) before exams and pass, mostly with flying colors. I don’t know what’s wrong with this world but most people value the easy ways instead of the long one spelled with e-f-f-o-r-t. Why do we look up to those who get what they want on their first try and dismiss those who give their all despite repeated failures as “trying hard”? Is trying too hard really that bad? Anyway, I have to admit, the “you’re so great/effortless/cool! life is unfair” comments got into my head and it worsened my already bad habit.
But this post is not about my cramming. Instead, it’s about my resolution (not New Year’s because we’re already a month into 2016) to minimize my use of social networking sites.
I have 4 day weekends but I have no idea where the days go. Hence, I always find myself cramming the day before. Case in point: I have three online exams, one major quiz, a recitation, a mini-thesis paper and a video presentation due within two weeks and I haven’t started anything. Add that to the fact that midterm exams are next week. I have more than enough time, I just don’t utilize it properly. One of the culprits? Social Media. 2016 wasn’t off to a good start but hopefully, February onward make up for it.
If I’m supposed to be cramming then why do I still find time to write this really long post if you may ask? Well, I don’t know about you but I tend to stick with resolutions if I list and publish them because I know I’m accountable for whatever I write.
Okay, I’m still not bold and apathetic enough to delete everything. Besides, Facebook is so entwined with our lives. I learn about announcements from professors and schedule of exams there. I no longer want to be the only student wearing uniform in class only because I missed the Facebook announcement that civilian attire is allowed for that day. More important reason is: I’m a millennial, you can’t take the internet out of me. Instead of going cold turkey, I’ll try control my usage of SNS. To start, I turned off all notifications and badges. Now I’m no longer a slave to those red dots with numbers compelling me to respond to them. I’m the boss here, iPhone! I will open your apps when I want to, preferably during designated times. ktnxbye. In addition, I’ll try my best to do the following:
Read more books.
It’s a shame really. I only read 8 books in 2015. EIGHT! I think my brain is shriveling up and is about to die because I haven’t fed it with literature in a long time — only junks from clickbaits, posts from friends and strangers alike, and every imaginable list that BuzzFeed can come up with. A book I enjoyed last year was The Catcher in the Rye and I hated myself for having a hard time understanding the first few paragraphs. I believe my reading comprehension has dropped in an all time low I need to gradually start with children’s books first to reacquaint. I’m eyeing The Chronicles of Narnia and I hope our school library carries the series!
Buy a compact camera.
Even before social media, I’ve always been obsessed with taking and hoarding pictures especially when I’m in it. It might have stemmed from being deprived of decent photo albums as a child or simply narcissism or whatever. The point is, I was already taking selfies before it was cool. I can’t imagine myself not taking crappy photos ever! So I just need to go back to old school point-and-shoot if I want to keep the habit but ditch using the phone because whenever I use it to take a picture of something that caught my fancy, 90% of the time I’m sucked into the black hole of apps afterwards. I’m thinking of getting Canon S120. So tempted to get a better one (Sony A6000 or Fuji) but they’re bigger and what’s the point of buying if it’s bulkier than a smartphone?
Bring my iPod
Same with buying a camera, I should bring my iPod, Omega, more often and save it from rotting in my cabinet. Instead of wasting my time scrolling through endless feeds, I should finally listen to all the albums I downloaded and discover songs I like and artists I’ll love in the process. I have 20,000 songs but I think I’ve only listened to less than 1,000 of them with Taylor Swift’s 1989 album on repeat.
I think my addiction with social media started when I applied for a Postpaid plan. I had unlimited mobile data which means I can access the sites anytime anywhere even in this forsaken land with crappy internet. I absentmindedly check my newsfeed when I’m bored the movement is already muscle memory. My contract ended last January 28 and despite my inhibitions, I settled for Globe’s Plan Zero. Kinda misleading because you actually pay 50 pesos for maintenance fee if you want to keep your old number (and we all know I get sentimental over useless things like those) but the point is, I no longer have access to the world wide web at the swipe of my finger. My friends used to complain that I never respond to their messages nor answer their calls. I’m afraid I’m gonna hear those grudges again because the plan doesn’t come with any text nor call promos. I need to stop being always available lels. On the bright side,
I’m my mother will save 1799 pesos monthly in the process 😉
Connect with friends in a different way.
Social media isn’t bad. In fact, it was born out of our need to keep in touch with people who are dear (it just spiraled down from there). The problem is overuse and misuse. Our communication evolved! Heck, we even chat with people we see on a daily basis. Or worse, we’re so bad at talking with each other face to face we prefer the comforts of our own homes behind the safety of our screens. This time, I hope to socialize the old school way because (1) I actually like face to face better, it just feels more genuine with all the nonverbal cues and (2) socializing will need more effort on my part which means I will only exert it on people who actually matters, the whole quality over quantity shit. I’ll start remembering friends’ birthdays without Facebook reminding me to greet them no matter how much I suck at memorizing. And instead of publishing a filtered picture together with well-thought of captions (which, in hindsight, is another activity to fish for likes instead of honoring your friend on his special day), I will send them a text message, call them, visit them, send them a birthday card, or better yet, write a 1,000 word blog post dedicated to them HAHAHA!
Practice makes perfect and with the way my posts are turning out then I need a hell lot more of practice. I’m thinking of doing it with pen and paper but I’m not limiting the process. As long as I use my hands (and brain) I don’t mind. I’ll write about my life (which is what I’ve been doing these past few years) and share it in less public platforms like this blog. HAHA I know nothing is really kept private on the internet but at least I feel less exposed here with strangers compared with Facebook where I’m friends with relatives and even my parents’ amigos.
The aggegated two hours or more I spend DAILY browsing through the trio (FB, IG, Twitter) could have been time spent doing even light exercises. I could have fitted into my uniform better. Or my BMI could have been normal already.
*The gist of this post is: Find something better to do! Look for ACTUAL hobbies (liking isn’t one)!*
There are apps like Self-Control and Cold Turkey. I tried them before but they’re not effective for me because I just find my around them and count the hours/minutes before they end. Also, there’s an unfollow feature on Facebook and mute feature on Twitter. Use them wisely. I stopped playing Clash of Clans when I changed my phone and I kind of regret all the time spent looting bases and money buying gems.I saw the birth of social media. Now I want to strangle it to death (lol joke). It’s sad because unlike Gen Z’s, I remember a time before technology took over, before overexposure was the norm. I was in puberty when Friendster became big but during those times, the internet wasn’t so accessible you had to go to an internet shop or your house to share something online. It was simply a hobby. Now it has taken over and we need to reclaim our (real) lives from it.
I hope my social media absence is felt. HAHA who am I kidding? Nobody gives a fudge about one user vanishing in this fleeting, LOOK AT ME, image of a world we created.